By Jeffrey Archer

 Directed by John Kelland

 Performed on Thursday 17 - Saturday 19 March 2005 at Pentyrch Village Hall


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Take your seats in the jury for one of the most compelling courtroom dramas of all time… In the Old Bailey, distinguished QC Sir David Metcalf is conducting the most important defence of his career - his own. Accused of murdering his wife, Sir David finds himself locked in legal combat with his old arch enemy Anthony Blair Booth.Step back in time to that fateful night, as the whole truth is revealed in this nail-biting thriller. You'll be on the edge of your seat as tensions build to an unexpected and shocking twist!

NODA Review of 'Beyond Reasonable Doubt'

Jeffrey Archer's political career might be politely describes as 'chequered' but there can be no doubt about his skill at plot construction in his novels and plays. This intriguing play, skilfully directed by John Kelland, is an excellent example. Leading barrister Sir David Metcalfe, played with subtlety and power by the outstanding Dai Williams, is accused of murdering his terminally ill wife. The first half of the action takes place in court, where his adversary, prosecuting counsel Anthony Blair Booth, excellently portrayed by Phil Davies, hounds Sir David. Good support here from Heather Major as the judge and witnesses Steve Williams, Karen Claridge and Brenda Slaughter, particularly good as the suspicious housekeeper whose damning testimony is the centrepiece of the prosecution's case. At the conclusion of the trial the audience, representing the jury, are asked to deliver their verdict by ballot.

The second half is a flashback to the events leading up to the death. We see the loving relationship between Sir David and his wife Millie, expertly realised by Sian Davies, and the close friendship of solicitor Lionel Hamilton and junior counsel Robert Pearson, well acted by John Major and Richard Jones respectively. The emotional ending is well handled by all concerned, including the expected twist of plot at the end. The verdict of the audience is announced at the conclusion of the play. With good pace throughout, the principals had excellent support from the minor characters, and an effective set, especially for act 2. Hilltop are rapidly gaining a reputation for excellent drama. A large and appreciative audience had a most enjoyable evening.

Reviewed by Tom Dyer.


Court Usher                                  Rhys Stapleton

Clerk of the Court                        Anna Constantinou

Justice Tredwell                          Heather Major

Anthony Blair Booth QC           Phil Davies

Lionel Hamilton                           John Major

Det Chief Inspector Travers     Steve Williams

Sir David Metcalfe QC                Dai Williams

Mrs Rogers                                   Brenda Slaughter

Dr Joanne Weeden                     Karen Claridge

Mr Cole                                           Ian Jones

Robert Pierson                             Richard Jones

Lady Metcalfe                               Sian Davies

Prison Officer                               Martyn Lench


Production Team

Producer/Director                     John Kelland

Production Assistant               Raynor Phinnemor

Stage Manager                           Wayne Brewer

Assistant Stage Manager        Nathan Brown

Properties                                   Raynor Phinnemor

Set Design & Construction    Wayne Brewer, Raynor Phinnemor, Josh Krip, Nathan Brown, Owain Davies

Lighting                                       Sarah Thomas

Sound                                          Josh Krip

Continuity                                   Anne Morris

Rehearsal Assistant                 Sara Pickard

Business Manager                   Bob Petersen

House Manager                        Bob Petersen

Front of House                         Members/Friends of Hilltop

Box Office                                  Heather Major